When Jesus said in John 14:12 “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works shall he do, because I go to the father,” What was he thinking? I know what I think, that’s impossible, no human can replicate the awesome life of Jesus.
This challenge was unlike anything the disciples ever heard, so they didn’t do the best job passing it on. After Jesus ascended, it wasn’t long before the seeds of the Pharisees and Sadducees took root again. Here’s what happened, they tried to develop a new religious hierarchy in Jerusalem. Fortunately a man named Paul, who was dramatically converted, sidestepped their prejudices and exercised the power of words. What has evolved over 2000 years of church theory is a collective trail of cathedrals/churches and denominational adherents. That isn’t even close to what Jesus said. He wasn’t into buildings or competing theologies. He didn’t even object to the demolition of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Jesus told the disciples the Holy Spirit is in us, not stones and wood. The New Testament wasn’t written yet so He told them the Spirit would guide them into all truth. Religion makes God a place – but God is an ever-present Spirit. In Jerusalem I visited a site where Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholics fought and shed blood for ownership of one historical site. If in today’s world the Jerusalem temple was up for grabs, high-powered lawyers would sue for rights to the property. Why, because the majority of church attenders have missed what Jesus taught? The Jerusalem Temple is nothing compared to the true temple Jesus established. You are the dwelling place of God.
Religious governments [churches] have done many notable works through history, finding social benefits and promoting good deeds, carrying the message of Salvation. Because it is impossible to measure the Holy Spirit in the heart, buildings and congregation size became the focus. The world is better because of religion but the spirit of Babel creates pride in human accomplishment and forgets the Kingdom of God not made with hands. Jesus said, “THE WORKS THAT I DO SHALL HE DO ALSO”, not the group shall do. The word He is singular because it is the Spirit-led disciple that changes the world. Man seeks to validate himself in the crowd, the broad road. The herd tendency will instinctively entice people to follow a leader. That can be good and it can be bad. Joining a church is not a bad thing, but hiding in the crowd to justify ourselves through group participation is a mistake. When Jesus challenged His disciples there was a sense of urgency, His hour had come – the crucifixion is pending. It is now or never, these last words with his disciples, reveal the very reason for His coming, His plan is for His life, and His work to continue through those who know Him.
His disciples saw Jesus speak to a storm and the sea was calmed, lepers were cleansed, and the dead came to life. They knew He had authority, now they need to know, His authority will be their authority – and for all who believe. If that seems impossible – that’s because it is impossible – only with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
To understand Gods authority they needed a living Savior with authority. World authority is not like godly authority. The authority in governing gives the power to subdue critics or hostile entities. Does a knife wielding terrorist have authority over his kneeling victim, NO, he has control and power – weak people use control and power when they lack authority. Power and control is the can of worms that has polluted governments and churches for millenniums.
Jesus was not easily impressed, but when a Roman Centurion approached Him to heal his sick servant. He said, Matthew 8:10 “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” The soldier understood authority so he asked Jesus, Matt 8:8, “to speak the word only and my servant will be healed.”
This is really important = true authority operates from a word – not a threat and violence. Jesus had authority so the servant was healed.
THE ORIGIN OF AUTHORITY
Genesis chapter 1 records God speaking and what followed was creation.
Where does authority come from? The scripture explains it like this. Psalm 47:8, “God sitteth on the throne of His Holiness.”
I recently heard Rick McFarland explain how authority is linked to holiness. God’s holiness gives Him His authority. From His Holy/righteous throne God spoke and there was. His throne is not somewhere in the universe but wherever He is and God is everywhere. God set limits He must abide by – God cannot be unrighteous – He cannot be evil, because if He was, His words would have no authority.
I know the Old Testament looks like God was vengeful, but Adam and Eve were given authority to set the course for humanity. When they chose knowing good and evil they abandoned godly authority for human power and control to judge and punish. They were created in God’s likeness and the likeness of God died at that time. What amazes me is God never took back Adams authority. Adams descendants expected law and punishment. They believed God would get the bad people, so they exercised their faith and believed for calamity – the Old Testament is sin and judgment because the earth was under man’s authority. People are still victimized by condemning ministries.
JESUS THE HOLY SON OF GOD
Jesus, the second Adam, was righteous and pure, His intervention to earth came with the Father’s authority. The Father’s plan for world change required his holy righteous Son to manifest His word of authority and give that authority to those who become the sons of God.
The Creator Father was righteous, now the Son has authority because He was perfect/holy.
Romans 1:4 “Jesus declared to be the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection.” The gospels are filled Jesus’ authority over disease, over demons, over the elements, nothing was impossible. Read this again, “the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness”. WITH POWER ACCORDING TO HOLINESS. From wine in the water pots at Cana of Galilee, to the empty tomb of Lazarus. Jesus spoke powerful words because Godly authority resided in His holiness.
If authority rests on a throne of holiness how can Jesus’ followers do greater things than He did? Believers are inclined to disqualify themselves because they know they are not worthy. The problem is not that we know our shortcomings but because others around us know it. Righteousness precedes authority and we should never trust our flesh.
RIGHTEOUSNESS THE GIFT
Colossians 2:13, “And you, …….., hath he quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all your trespasses,“ believers are made righteous, as righteous as Jesus. It is impossible to gain godly authority through religious discipline. When you received Jesus you were made righteous by an act of God. That is called positional righteousness and what follows is progressive righteousness. If you believe – you’ve already got it. Now use it and please the Father.
Through my dad’s will, my brother and I inherited a drapery shop with an apartment in St. Paul, MN. It required roof repair, so I left South Dakota and met my brother Ted from Brainerd, MN. The 2 story flat roof required roll roofing and 1 day to finish. The weather forecast was 65 degrees with a south wind at 35 to 40 mph. The wind was going to be a problem, installing a 50 foot run of tar paper and roll roofing caused me a restless night? We started early while the wind was calm. I told Ted my concerns about the wind and he didn’t seem concerned. We worked feverishly and at 9:30 the wind started. This is where it gets interesting. I said here it comes and Ted stopped. Stood straight up and faced the wind then held out the palm of his hand and said with a loud voice, “WIND STOP.” I thought he was a religious nut. We worked the day and finished the job with only a 10 to 15 mph breeze. Go figure.
At that time I was a senior pastor and Ted ran a turkey farm. I was trying to find a way to deal with the effects of the wind – Ted dealt with the Wind. Why didn’t I speak to the wind? For 2 main reasons. I didn’t want to look foolish and I didn’t think it would do any good. I’m glad Ted was there, Ted’s prayer worked and we finished the roof.
Pride and unbelief were my excuse, I am not proud of it. Being denominationally trained had quenched the authority Jesus gave me. I’m sure there are a multitude of reasons people don’t speak with the authority of Jesus, but you can if you will. Whether a person doesn’t believe or doesn’t feel qualified you get the same result. Nothing. If you assume you are not qualified because you missed church, cussed the neighbor, forgot to pray, kept your tithe, etc. that’s where self-righteousness comes in – you assume your righteousness is greater than Christ righteousness. Authority in God’s kingdom is only ours through the imputed righteousness of Jesus. That’s why we pray in Jesus name.
Think about this, your words are more powerful than a doctor’s diagnosis. Stop repeating the gloom and doom regurgitated from negative sources. Listen to yourself. Speak against disease and sickness and sin, speak life and not death – not against people. Condemn the lie from whatever source, claim protection, health and prosperity for those you meet. After Jesus left this earth, God had no way to audibly speak here except for you. “The power of life and death is in the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21)
Your words have power when;
- You have a relationship with Jesus.
- You know the kingdom of God is at hand, in you.
- You accept God’s righteousness – yours is as filthy rags.
- Your words will not speak evil, condemn, or seek vengeance.
- Your words will not be to control people.
- Your words will bless, help, heal, and prosper.
- You will resist the temptation to take any credit for answered prayers.
Use your Word Power, read your Bible, it’s in the book. Shalom